US must swiftly end catastrophic presence in Afghanistan: Iran
Iran Press TV
Tuesday, 18 August 2020 4:38 PM
Iran has dismissed as "utterly bogus" the claims in some US media reports that other states are offering bounties to Taliban militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan, saying Washington must end its "catastrophic presence" in the war-torn country instead of blaming others for the crisis there.
"The US government – which has no answer to give to the families of its soldiers killed in Afghanistan – is seeking to cover up its miscalculation in Afghanistan through media hype," Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Tuesday.
He added that the US is bogged down in a self-created quagmire in Afghanistan, while the blood of American soldiers is shed thousands of miles away from their own country due to the White House's wrong policies, which have brought nothing but "years of war and bloodshed for the innocent Afghan people."
The Iranian officials called on the US to act responsibly and end its destructive presence in Afghanistan as soon as possible instead of pointing the finger of blame at others.
Khatibzadeh also on Monday rejected "baseless" claims by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Tehran arms the Taliban, saying the allegation seeks to deflect attention from the American assistance to Daesh in Afghanistan.
"The accusations leveled by the US secretary of state amount to a type of blame game and an attempt at diverting the public opinion from Washington's instances of assistance to Daesh," he said.
Pompeo claimed last week, "We know that the Russians have armed the Taliban in the past, right. We know that the Iranians continue to arm them today."
In June, the New York Times, citing an unnamed source, claimed that a top-secret unit within the Russian military intelligence, or the GRU, had allegedly offered monetary rewards to Taliban-linked militants to kill US troopers in the country last year.
Russia dismissed the claims as a bunch of "lies."
The United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001 under the banner of following the September 11 attacks in order to wage a "war on terror" thousands of miles away from America's own borders.
The invasion toppled the Taliban militant group, but the group now controls more territory than at any point since being ousted from power and is engaged in peace talks with the United States.
Daesh has also gone from strength to strength, especially in eastern Afghanistan, after suffering crushing defeats in Syria and Iraq.
At the time of Syrian and Iraqi advances, various sources reported and regional officials confirmed that the US military was airlifting Daesh militants from battlefields and transferring them to Afghanistan.
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